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Body Of Long-Missing Person Discovered

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

National Park News

Last February, rangers found a mini-van parked after hours in the Mt. Baldy area of the park. At that time, the region was experiencing a blizzard and whiteout conditions existed. A search of the area revealed footprints leading along a trail to the nearby beach. There was a note in the van indicating that it had broken down and that the driver would return in a few days. There were no indications or clues indicating foul play. A check of the video cameras mounted on a nearby building showed the driver, later identified as Roxanne Shah of Indianapolis, walking to and returning from the trail to the beach. However, blowing snow obscured segments of the video. Rangers called the Indianapolis Police Department to request a check of Shah’s residence, which led to her family filing a missing person report. Park staff conducted a more extensive search of the area at first light with assistance of a U.S. Coast Guard ice rescue crew, fixed wing aircraft and a search dog from a local police department. No evidence was found. A follow-up search the next week, when some melting had occurred, did not reveal any additional clues. Reports from the family indicated that Shah was known to go off on her own for days at a time and loved winter camping. On the morning of October 21st, a jogger discovered Shah’s body on the beach at Indiana Dunes State Park, which is located within the national lakeshore and approximately six-and-a-half miles from Mt. Baldy. Recent severe storms, which had created waves as high as 24 feet on Lake Michigan, had probably dislodged the body and carried it ashore. The Porter County coroner conducted an immediate autopsy and determined the cause of death to be drowning. There were no signs of foul play. Although there are a number of theories as to how Shah met her end, there is no evidence to support any conclusions.



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